Dec. 4, 2012
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Navy (4-5) at Monmouth (5-3)
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
West Long Branch, N.J. | Multipurpose Activity Center (4,100) | 7:00 PM (ET)
Streaming Video: GoMUHawks.com ($6.95 / game)
Radio: WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM / www.wnav.com)
Satellite Radio: SIRIUS (CH. TBA)
Announcer: Pete Medhurst
Series: Monmouth leads, 1-0 (Dec. 6, 2011; MU, 69-67)
Wednesday's Game Basics
The Navy men's basketball team remains on the road as it travels via bus for the first time this year, heading to the Jersey Shore to face Monmouth in West Long Branch, N.J., on Wednesday, December 5, beginning at 7:00 PM (ET). The contest will be streamed online as part of Monmouth's Hawk Vision platform ($6.95 for game, $7.95 for month), while Pete Medhurst will handle Navy's radio call on WNAV (1430 AM, 99.9 FM) and SIRIUS satellite radio (Ch. TBA). All the links, including live stats and Twitter (@NavyAthletics), will be available on NavySports.com.
Five Things To Know
1) Navy has already surpassed last year's win total (3) when it won its fourth game of the year last Wednesday in a 54-49 victory over IPFW. Now it looks to continue its resurgence on the road as it looks for to break a couple of more streaks. Navy is currently on an 18-game losing streak in true road games, dating back to last year's 78-70 victory over Longwood in the season opener. Navy has also dropped 10 straight games in the month of December, dating back to a Dec. 5, 2010 win over George Washington in the BB&T Classic (64-57).
2) Through Sunday's games, Navy's defense has been among the best in America, one year after being among the worst. In 2011-12, Navy ranked 321st nationally in field goal percentage defense (.472) and allowed 22-of-29 opponents to score over a point per possession, ranking 280th for the season (1.05 ppp). However, Navy has made a concerted effort to the defensive end this year and now ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense (53.1 ppg), is 33rd in field goal percentage defense (.377), seventh in three-point percentage defense (.222) and is allowing just 0.86 points per possession, a number that ranks 34th nationally.
3) Navy has done a great job sharing the basketball this year, compiling 114 assists on its 184 made field goals. Navy ranks 27th nationally in percentage of assisted baskets at 63.1 percent (Northwestern is first at 75.8 percent). The Mids are attempting to have an assist-to-turnover ratio of greater than 1.00 for the first time since 1996-97. The Midshipmen are off to a good start having 114 assists against 108 turnovers (1.06) so far this year.
4) Speaking of turnovers, Navy has done a great job so far this year taking care of the ball. The Midshipmen are averaging just 12.0 turnovers per game to rank 49th nationally and is on pace to have the lowest turnover average in school history by a large margin (1987 - 13.4 per game). The Midshipmen are +2.56 in turnover margin and have recorded 11 or fewer turnovers five times already this year.
5) Navy's outside shooting is getting hotter as the weather cools down. Over the last three games, Navy is 18-of-45 (.400) from three-point range having gone 7-of-16 (.438), 7-of-13 (.538) against IPFW and 4-of-16 (.250) against Tulane. Navy is shooting 33.8 percent from distance this year which is significantly better than last year's school-record low 28.1 percent. In the recent three-game span, Brandon Venturini and Kendall Knorr are a combined 15-of-30 (.500) from beyond the three-point line.
Tulane Post-Game Notes
Tulane held Navy scoreless for an eight-minute span, stretching both halves and dealt the Midshipmen a 51-41 setback on Saturday afternoon in New Orleans.
Navy had its chances, especially early when Tulane superstar Josh Davis (17 p, 10 r) picked up two fouls in the game's first six minutes, but Navy shot just 20.8 percent (5-of-24) from the field in the game's opening 20 minutes. Navy trailed 15-13 when the Green Wave used a 12-0 run to grab a 27-13 lead early in the second half.
Navy cut the lead to five at 32-27 with 11:37 to play, but could draw no closer as the Green Wave topped the Midshipmen, 51-41.
Tulane outscored Navy at the line, 21-3, and won despite shooting 27.7 percent from the field and making four less field goals than the Midshipmen. Fifteen of Tulane's last 17 points of the contest came at the free throw line and it made one field goal in the game's last 10 minutes.
Tulane's 13 made field goals were the fewest for an opponent since Washington College, Md., made 13 field goals on Dec. 20, 2006. It was the fewest for a D-I opponent since Army made 11 on Feb. 28, 2004.
Tulane's 27.7 percent field goal shooting was the lowest for an opponent since Army shot 25.6 percent against Army on Feb. 28, 2004.
The 27.7 percent field goal shooting by Tulane was the lowest for an opponent in a win over the Midshipmen since Ohio shot 27.6 percent from the field in a 54-52 Bobcats' win on Dec. 20, 2002.
Navy's 13 points in the first half were tied for the sixth fewest in a half in school history.
Navy's three made free throws were tied for the ninth fewest in a game in school history. It matched the season low of three set against TCU on Nov. 20, 2012.
Navy's six free throw attempts were the fewest for the program since shooting just four against San Diego State on Dec. 17, 2007.
Navy's 41 points scored tied for the 10th fewest in a game since records started being kept in 1951-52, and were tied for the fifth fewest points on the road in school history (since 1951-52).
The 92 combined points tied for the eighth fewest in a game in school history (since 1951-52)
The Last Meeting
December 6, 2011
Monmouth's Offense Too Much For Mids, 69-67
Monmouth's Jesse Steele scored 20 points and Jordan Brickman's three-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the Navy men's basketball fell to the Hawks, 69-67, at Alumni Hall on Tuesday night.
Series Information / Last Meeting
Monmouth leads the series with Navy, 1-0, after topping the Midshipmen, 69-67, last year in Annapolis. The two teams would be tied at 62 with just under three minutes to play when the Hawks scored on an offensive putback and made five-of-six free throws down the stretch for the victory. Jordan Brickman would miss a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer.
Navy has played eight of the 12 teams currently in the Northeast Conference, posting a 25-15 record (.625) against the league.
Navy is 33-37 (.471) in 70 previous games against the State of New Jersey. Navy has faced six schools from the Garden State.
Wednesday's game with Monmouth kicks off a three-game swing against teams from the Northeast Conference. Navy will face Monmouth on Wednesday night, is at Mount St. Mary's on Friday night and then will host Bryant in the first meeting between the two teams next Monday night in Alumni Hall.
Alter Returns Home
Navy sophomore guard Kevin Alter will return to his area and should have a large following at Wednesday's game. Alter hails from Rumson, N.J., just eight miles north of West Long Branch.
Alter's final high school game was played at the Multipurpose Activity Center at Monmouth, where he scored 24 of his Rumson-Fair Haven's 35 points in a 43-35 loss to Raritan.
Loupos, Roberts Also Return to Home State
Navy juniors James Loupos (Skillman) and Isaiah Roberts (Pennsauken) are also returning home for the first time to play in their native state. Loupos' hometown is about 55 miles from West Long Branch, while Roberts' hometown is 76 miles from West Long Branch.
Surpassing Last Year
Navy has now surpassed last year's win total with its fourth win of the year last Wednesday night against IPFW, 54-49. Navy went 3-26 last year.
Navy has had six different players score in double figures this year and four different players have led the team in scoring. Navy does not have a double-digit scorer this year, but has nine players averaging between 3.4 and 9.8 points per game. Twelve players average between 8.9 and 29.9 minutes per game.
Navy One of the Youngest Teams in America
Navy is one of the youngest teams in America, boasting six freshmen and six sophomores on its current roster. Navy returned just 13 years of collegiate experience on its roster entering the season. In the season opener against Marymount, Navy's five starters had 22 career starts between them with Worth Smith accounting for 17 of them.
Teams Can't Reach 55
Navy has held five straight opponents to 55 points or less, something that was accomplished last in February 1986, the year Navy made a run to the Elite Eight. The last time it happened in six straight games came in December 1950.
Holding It Down
With its 51-point defensive effort against Tulane on Saturday, Navy has held eight of its nine opponents to 54 points or less this year.
Four of the opponents have been held to 49 or fewer points, the most occurrences in a season since 2006-07 (4 times in 30 gms).
Department of Defense
Navy ranks high on the official NCAA defense charts released on Monday afternoon. Navy ranks eighth in the country in scoring defense, seventh in three-point percentage defense and 34th in field goal percentage defense.
First-Half Defense Gets Off To Great Start
Over the last four games, Navy's first-half defense has been remarkable. During that span, Navy has allowed just 74 points (18.5 ppg) while opponents have shot 27-of-101 (.267) from the field and 9-of-51 (.176) from beyond the arc.
Navy allowed 15 (Prairie View A&M), 20 (Delaware State), 16 (IPFW) and 23 (Tulane) points during the first half of the last four contests.
Second Half Heats Up For Navy
Meanwhile, Navy's offense has heated up in the second half of the last three games. The Midshipmen are 33-of-63 (.524) from the field in the second half of the last three games, shooting over 50.0 percent in all three contests. The three occurrences mark the only times this year that Navy has shot over 50.0 percent in a half.
Navy is 10-of-18 (.556) from three-point range during the second half of the last three games.
Can't Close The Deal
Navy lost a pair of leads during the last two weeks, falling to TCU (47-45) and Prairie View A&M (42-40) as part of the South Padre Island Invitational. The two losses drop the Midshipmen to 0-7 under Coach DeChellis in games decided by three or fewer points. Navy is just 3-16 in games decided by single digits.
Free Throw Woes
Navy ranks 314th (out of 345 teams) nationally in free throw percentage, making just 61.7 percent of its attempts.
In the last five games, Navy is just 29-of-56 (.518) from the free throw line and has made eight or fewer free throws in all five of the games.
The struggles have been evident in the second halves of games, where the Midshipmen are shooting just 57.0 percent (45-of-79) from the free throw line compared to 69.0 percent (40-of-58) in the first half.
Over the last five games during the second half only, Navy is 14-of-32 (.438) from the free throw line.
Finally On A Bus
A month into the season, the Navy men's basketball team will finally take to the road, instead of the air, for a game. Navy has traveled 6,285 miles in the air with stops in airports in Birmingham, Dallas, South Padre Island, Austin, New Orleans and Nashville.
The Magic of December 5
Navy owns a 17-4 record on December 5, the best record of any date on the calendar with a minimum of 20 games for the Navy men's basketball team. Navy hasn't lost on the date since 1987 (25 years) and it was the date of Navy's last win in December, way back in 2010 with a 64-57 win over George Washington. Navy has lost 10 straight games in the month of December entering the contest.
Navy's bench has been outstanding all year long, averaging 20.7 points per game or 36.8 percent of Navy's scoring. The group is shooting 64-of-157 (.408) from the field, 26-of-66 (.394) percent from three-point range and 32-of-46 (.696) from the free throw while contributing 14.8 rebounds per game. The group scored a season-high 29 points in the opener vs. Marymount.
Navy's highly-regarded freshmen class has also not disappointed, leading all classes in scoring with 199 points (22.1 points per game). The class is shooting 73-of-180 (.406) from the field and 19-of-50 (.380) from three-point range while dishing out 52 assists against 40 turnovers, for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.30. The school record for points scored by a freshman class was by the freshman class of 2010-11 with 762 points. The school record for average points scored per game by the freshman class was in 2005-06 at 25.7 ppg.
Navy's freshmen rank second (Tilman Dunbar), fifth (Kendall Knorr), eighth (Phil Guglielmo) and 10th (Jerome Alexander) among Patriot League freshmen in scoring, and are first in assists (Dunbar), sixth (Will Kelly) and eighth (Dunbar) in rebounding and second, third and eighth in steals (Dunbar, Knorr, Kelly).
Knorr Named Patriot League Rookie of the Week
Freshman Kendall Knorr had a big game in Wednesday's win over IPFW, tallying a career-high 15 points to be named Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Monday. It wasn't the amount of points he scored, it was how it happened that helped Navy to the victory. With the Mids leading 31-30, Knorr scored 13 points in a five-minute span to fuel an 18-6 run and lift the Midshipmen to victory. He made all six of its field goal attempts (three of them were three-pointers) and became just the third freshman ever (Derrick Wall vs. Lafayette on Feb. 22, 1992; Cliff Rees vs. Richmond on Jan. 10, 1985) to make six field goal attempts with no misses, and the first player in general since Jeremy Wilson vs. Lehigh on Feb. 14, 2010. Knorr leads all Patriot League freshmen in three-pointers made with 12.
Venturini Connects From Deep
Sophomore Brandon Venturini has taken over the team lead in scoring with back-to-back 11-point efforts against IPFW and Tulane and is now averaging 9.8 points per game.
Venturini has scored in double-figures in five of the last six games, averaging 11.3 points per game and shooting 25-of-58 (.431) from the field and 17-of-44 (.386) from three-point range in that span.
Venturini ranks fifth in the Patriot League with 21 three-pointers and his 21 triples are the eighth most by a sophomore nationally.
Venturini has already scored 88 points this year after having 74 during all of his freshman year. He is also tied for second on the team with 16 assists and boasts a stellar 1.78 assist-to-turnover ratio (16:9).
Dunbar Gets To The Point
Freshman Tilman Dunbar continues to play at a high level running the point, ranking second in the Patriot League in assists (5.3 apg) while ranking fifth nationally among freshmen.
Dunbar also ranks 38th nationally and third among the country's freshmen in percentage of team's assist total, recording 42.11 percent of Navy's assists this year (48-of-114).
Dunbar owns a 2.09 (48-to-23) assist-to-turnover ratio and has had at least six assists in four games already this year. He dished out a freshman school-record 11 assists (tied) in a 75-52 win over Binghamton. His numbers compare favorably to the top point guards in Navy history over their first nine starts, as only Doug Wojcik (1985 -- as a sophomore) has had more assists than Dunbar in a player's first nine career starts.
Dunbar needs just 11 assists to enter the single-season top 10 list for assists by a freshman. The school record for assists in a game by a freshman is 3.46 by Brian Walker in 1994. Dunbar is currently at 5.33.
Smith Starting to Find Game
Sophomore Worth Smith ranks third on the team in scoring while leading the team in rebounding and is starting to find his game.
Smith has scored in double-figures in back-to-back games for the first time this year and is averaging 10.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg while shooting 9-of-23 (.391) from the field in the last two contests.
Smith has scored in double-figures five times this year and Navy is 3-2 so far when he scores 10 or more points.
Smith needs just six rebounds for 200 in his career and 27 points to surpass the 300-point barrier.
# GO NAVY #